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Academic Programs

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Information Session for Summer 2019 Program - South Africa: Exotic Animal Behavior

Have you ever wanted to study while on safari? With this program you could do just that!

The goal of this program is to help students learn and exhibit an understanding of exotic animal species behavior and welfare considerations in the context of: 1) variation in environmental habitats (open range, controlled contact, and zoological settings, etc.), 2) management of animal health and well-being, and 3) comparisons with domesticated species.

We will achieve this goal through exposing students to behavior, welfare, and health conditions of exotic animals found in South Africa and providing a context for comparison with the perceptions gained through experiences in the US. Students will garner an appreciation for how exotic animals behave in habits that include open-range, semi-contained, sanctuaries and zoo settings. Additional hands on experiences and exotic animal interaction opportunities and discussions will address how history, government, geography, and infrastructure may impact how exotic animals are handled with regard to population maintenance, genetic diversity, health management, and the role of humans in addressing current and future challenges. Students also are provided with an opportunity to learn and engage in discussions with a trained, experienced exotic animal guide who will serve as the on-site coordinator of all activities.

Successful students will be able to:

  1. Identify and evaluate key behavioral characteristics of exotic animals in relation to the animal’s habitat and external influences;
  2. Characterize the challenges and opportunities of managing exotic animal populations in relation to society expectations, competing domesticated species, government policy, and cultural perspectives;
  3. Identify and explain the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence health and well-being of exotic species and the scientific approaches used to address exotic animal health issues; 
  4. Appreciate the diversity, complexity, and value of alternative exotic animal management approaches on animal and their surroundings.

This program has two travel sections and will take two groups of students for 2.5 weeks each. Specific travel dates for each group will be announced later.


The application deadline for this program is November 1, 2018.

Oct 17, 2018, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
No cost.
212 Animal Science Building
Difei Shen